A symbol is a sign that resembles a statue: it doesn’t simply refer to a language – or parts of a language, like words or sounds – but to entire stories. Symbols generally exist in a swarm of other symbols with which they are affiliated. They are linked to superstition and irrationality and evoke associations of abhorrent artistic styles and kitsch. Symbols produce ‘too much’ and ‘too little’ meaning at the same time. They take the form of words, sounds, gestures, ideas or visual images and are used to convey other ideas and beliefs. The department of Symbols collects all kinds of symbolic languages and their use, from Jungs archetypes to all categories of cartographic symbol shapes, from alchemical symbols to heraldic emblems.
Tracing Board Treasury